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Reports
Saturday, 09-September-2006
David Batty (Guardian Unlimited)- - Children fear that the government's national database of every child in England will expose rather than protect them from harm, according to a report published today.
Young people were suspicious of the motives behind the creation of the children's index, which will allow professionals to share information about 11 million children, a study by the children's commissioner for England said.
Many of those questioned believed the system would be "incredibly intrusive" and deter them from using sexual and mental health services for fear this would be disclosed to their school or parents.
The study found that children feared the £224m index, which allows professionals to flag up concerns on an individual's file, could be misused by unscrupulous or abusive staff, with particular concern raised that child abusers could use it to conceal abuse.
Older teenagers were concerned that the index was a Big Brother-style means of keeping track of young people and some pledged to try to evade being entered into the system, the researchers said.
Many of those surveyed also did not trust the government to keep the information on the index safe and secure, with many concerned that the system could be hacked.
The study warned that children's mistrust of the system represented "a major challenge" for the government.
It is the latest in a series of setback for the database, devised to address the failure of care staff to share information about the murdered child abuse victim, Victoria Climbie. Last week it emerged that the children of celebrities would be able to remove some of their details from the database, prompting questions over how secure the stored information would be.
Parliament's information commissioner is due to publish a report on the database later this month. It is expected to warn that the database is causing serious concern and is possibly unlawful, with fears it breaches the Data Protection Act and does not comply with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Young people raised similar concerns in the study published today. They opposed the index being used to share information without their consent except in exceptional cases, for example, if a child was in danger of harming themselves or others.
Concern was also raised that the database would be a permanent blight on their character. Young people were worried about the accuracy of information on the index and sceptical - given the system's size and scale - that it could be kept up to date.
One said that outdated data could "be potentially damaging and serve to mark them out and label them". Many wanted access to their electronic file to check its accuracy.
The researchers also found that the database risked aggravating many children's lack of trust in the professionals who worked with them. They were adamant that teachers should not get access to the database, regarding them as very different professionals to social workers or doctors. Teachers had no right to know about their personal lives, the children said.

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Tuesday, 17-October-2017
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Tuesday, 17-October-2017
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Monday, 16-October-2017
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Monday, 16-October-2017
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Monday, 16-October-2017
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Sunday, 15-October-2017
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Sunday, 15-October-2017
The army and popular committees have killed a total of 18 Saudi-paid mercenaries in sniper operations over the past hours in the central province of Marib, a military official said on Sunday.

Ten mercenaries were killed in Nehm district and eight others were killed in Serwah district, said the official.
Saturday, 14-October-2017
Saudi aggression warplanes have launched more than 49 airstrikes over the past hours on several residential areas across Yemen, a security official said on Sunday.
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Thursday, 12-October-2017
The army and popular forces carried out an operation attack on Saudi-paid mercenaries' sites in al-Hawal area in Nehm district.

A local official said that the operation attack resulted in killing and injuring mercenaries, adding they also incurred heavy losses at their ranks

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